There’s nothing like game seven in the playoffs and when game seven comes in the Stanley Cup Final, it’s even more amazing. After everything two teams have been through, after the long season, after the grueling playoffs and six games of an intense series, it all comes down to one game with everything on the line.
It’s incredibly cliché and it’s mentioned over and over again, but this is the game you dream of playing when you’re a kid.
Today we’re going to take a look at the last 30 years of Stanley Cup Final game seven moments.
This was the first Stanley Cup Final to go seven games since 1971. The powerhouse Oilers won their third Stanley Cup thanks to a Jari Kurri goal in the second period of game seven. That goal capped off an absolutely thrilling series. It saw the Oilers go up 3-1 in the series, only to watch as the Philadelphia Flyers stormed back to force a game seven. Flyers goaltender Ron Hextall was given the Conn Smythe Trophy despite losing.
Sorry Canucks fans.
This time the Rangers built up a 3-1 series lead, only to watch it collapse as Vancouver won games five and six. The Rangers won the game 3-2, with both Vancouver goals coming from captain Trevor Linden. It was the Rangers first Stanley Cup victory since 1940.
This will always be known as the year Ray Bourque finally won the Stanley Cup. The defending champion and top seed in the Eastern Conference, the New Jersey Devils took on the President’s Trophy-winning top seed in the Western Conference, the Colorado Avalanche.
This is the year Pat Burns won his Stanley Cup. Few people would have predicted that the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim would come within a game of the 2003 Stanley Cup. They upset the defending champion Detroit Red Wings and the Dallas Stars in the first two rounds to be a surprising Cup finalist. Their good fortune would run out in game seven, however, as the Devils won the game 3-0. Jean-Sebastien Giguere won the Conn Smythe Trophy despite his team losing game seven.
Interestingly, this series featured the home team winning every game, much like the 2011 final at this point.
The last Stanley Cup Final before the lockout and the second-straight final to go seven games. The Flames were the first Canadian team to make the final since the 1994 Canucks. The trend of Canadian teams losing in the final would continue for another couple years. Ruslan Fedotenko scored both Tampa Bay goals as the Lightning won their first Stanley Cup by a 2-1 score in game seven.
The third-straight final to go seven games. Coming out of the lockout, no one knew what to expect. The Oilers were the eighth-seeded team in the West, but their miraculous run came one game short as the Carolina Hurricanes won their first Stanley Cup. Carolina had a 3-1 lead in the series, but Edmonton won game five in overtime and game six in a convincing 4-0 shutout to play in game seven. Rookie goaltender Cam Ward won the Conn Smythe Trophy.
In a rematch of the 2008 Stanley Cup Final, the Pittsburgh Penguins met the Detroit Red Wings for the championship. The Wings won games one and two at home. The Penguins responded by winning games three and four in Pittsburgh. Detroit won game five at home and Pittsburgh returned the favour in game six. The Penguins became the first team since the 1971 Montreal Canadiens to win the Cup in game seven on the road, a feat that the Boston Bruins hope to duplicate tomorrow night.